U.M.E.M. Response and Needs to Covid-19

*Hello everyone, I wish to share some updates with you all*

It is with deep regret and heartbreak that we share with our friends the news about out summer 2020 is mission team program. We are unable to host teams this year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Teams from out of sate would be required to quarantine 14 days in state before working for a week. We are not able to make the sleeping quarters and meal quarters big enough to meet the much needed social distancing recommendations. The population we work with throughout the summer are very often those who are at high risk, as are many of the very dedicated volunteers.

We are able to have day teams of 5 or 6 people, or one to two family groups, to work on the many projects on site in Salem or Howland. Both sites have outside jobs. These teams must be from Maine due to CDC recommendations.

We will continue to serve our area with the much needed Back to School program and provide school supplies and sneakers. Donations to the project are welcome.

Our Thrift Stores will be reopening under strict guidelines in June. Watch for the dates and information about hours and accepting donations.

The Food Pantry at the Salem site has continued to feed families and currently, we receive breakfasts and lunches to help families feed children over the weekend. Camp Mechuwana invited us to partner with them in this endeavor. The breakfasts and lunches are made by Mechuwana staff and delivered on Friday by noon. Lunches are distributed on Friday and Saturdays.

My personal note: A huge thank you goes out to the churches, businesses, agencies, individuals and organizations that have given generously to help us feed families through out these last few months. With the closing of our Thrift Shops, a main source of income to cover overhead costs of electricity for fridges, freezers, staff salaries, we were very afraid of what that would mean to our families and communities where securing food can be difficult.

YOUR GENEROSITY feeds the families of our communities in this part of rural Maine. YOUR GENEROSITY continues to serve in powerful ways in our communities. Henri J.M. Nouwen wrote in his book A Spirituality of Fundraising these words,

"When those with money and those who need money share a mission, we see a central sign of new life in the Spirit of Christ. We belong together in our work because Jesus has brought us together, and our fruitfulness depends on staying connected with him...Therefore, those who need money and those who can give money meet on the common ground of God's love." (Nouwen, page 22, copyright 2010, Upper Room Books, 1908 Grand Avenue, Nashville, TN 37212)

Thank you for meetings us, for partnering with us, and for continuing to meet with us on "the common ground of God's love".

Peace be with you, Love be the words we speak and prayers offered.

~Michele St. Cyr, Executive Director of the UMEM

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1458 Salem Road

Salem Twp., Maine 04983

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23 Coffin Street,

Howland, ME 04448


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